Why Kawak Hydraulic Control for Agriculture?

Precision agriculture is revolutionizing traditional farming practices and farmers that are integrating precision agriculture into their farms, operate more efficiently and productively through all stages of applications.

Developments of better technology to apply chemicals and wet and dry fertilizers through an aerial, variable controlled manner, have increased fertilizer use efficiency, allowed for higher yields and has had less impact on the environment.

Today’s GIS/GPS and prescription in put technologies combined with  the acute accuracy of a hydraulically controlled spray system with flow control, provides key precision agriculture functionality and application control, increasing profits by avoiding double coverage and eliminates wasted product due to overlap and slow response.

For an aerial applicator, there is less fatigue, greater fuel savings and more time for more acres.

For a farmer there are greater yields, less money spent on products, and much less impact on the environment.

Kawak Aviation Technologies has a Hydraulically Driven Chemical pump that can be fully integrated with GPS control systems for instantaneous rate changes in precision dispersal applications.

Kawak also offers a Hydraulic control valve retrofit system. This system gives you seamless repeatable flow control which means smooth operation reducing pressure surges associated with conventional check valve. It has a simple interface with a GPS for constant flow and variable rate applications.

Benefits of constant flow accuracy:

  • Eliminates the various unrelated spray variables
  • Has precision accuracy to meet specific label requirements
  • Has a constant flow that is independent of input pressure
  • Provides on-target deposition of chemicals and wet and dry fertilizers
  • Reduces waste, conserves compounds used, saves time on labor and decreases fatigue

Flow control is typically accomplished in one of three ways on an aircraft chemical delivery system.

1. Install a modulating valve in the water side of the system that restricts the amount of water going to the boom. 

Advantages:
a. Generally less expensive on initial acquisition.
b. Fairly simple installation.

Disadvantages:
a. Only can provide a single function.  No dry gate, etc.
b. Modulating valve has to operate in the chemical system which is the least predicable environment as far a viscosity, etc. leading to potential calibration issues.
c. Water pump consumes more power since it is pumping an excess of material than what is required with modulating valve choking off the flow accordingly.
d. Does not have any capacity for rapid rate changes (high flow to zero rate)

2. Install a modulating valve in the water side of the system that bleeds off part of the water flow back to the hopper.

Advantages:
a. Generally less expensive on initial acquisition.
b. Fairly simple installation.

Disadvantages:
a. Only can provide a single function.  No dry gate, etc.
b. Modulating valve has to operate in the chemical system which is the least predicable environment as far a viscosity, etc. leading to potential calibration issues.
c. Water pump consumes more power since it is pumping an excess of material that what is required.
d. Does not have any capacity for rapid rate changes (high flow to zero rate)

3. Modulate the speed of the chemical pump (and in turn the water output) by using a hydraulic system to drive the pump.

Advantages:
a. Excellent integration of electronic controls to the hydraulic system as it relies on mature technology.
b. Controlling the water output via the hydraulic system utilizes the cleanest and most controllable medium to do so.
c. The hydraulic system can make virtually instantaneous changes to the water output which can eliminate the need for “look ahead” or “anticipating” features in the software.
d. Less power is consumed since the water pump is producing only enough water to satisfy the delivery requirement.
e. Coupled with a hydraulically actuated boom valve, the system can go from full output of off within milliseconds.  Use of boom valve also provides agitation under all circumstances where agitation is desired.
f.  Onboard hydraulic system can be used as single source of power for multiple functions. (Chemical pump, dry gate, boom valve, hopper door systems, flaps, and air conditioning) providing more value.
g. Hydraulic driven chemical pumps eliminate the fan drive which in turn reduces drag (less fuel) and improves the spray pattern under the fuselage as a result of less turbulence.
h. Testing by the USDA has shown excellent results for prescription vs. as applied when doing constant flow or variable rate.
i.  Can be operated either in manual or auto mode (GPS interfaced)

Disadvantages:
a.  Higher initial acquisition cost however mitigated by reliability and performance.